Hop on board one of India’s oldest and best-known railways, the famous narrow-gauge Darjeeling Hill Railway. Fondly called the Toy Train it runs across 78km (49mi.) of Indian terrain and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Built in 1881 to transport passengers to the hills and tea freights to the plains, the train runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling.
This impressive line climbs to over 2 100m (6 890 ft) in a series of twists and loops set against a picturesque mountain backdrop. The railway line provides exquisite views of the town of Darjeeling and the Kanchenjunga Mountain, the world’s third highest peak at 8 586m (28 169ft). The original steam locomotive still runs to this day and travels between Ghoom and Darjeeling.
Set off on a private vintage tram and experience the romance of rail, imbued in old world charm. Pass by the Siliguri bazaar, where you can take photographs of the colourful stalls. Stop briefly at the original lower terminus of the Darjeeling Hill Railway and head to Tindharia, where you can explore the railway workshops before moving on to Darjeeling. Travel through the iconic Kurseong’s bazaar and past the Windemere Hotel, once frequented by British tea merchants and planters. Wind your way straight up to the main street of Kurseong and through quaint villages before reaching the mountain summit at Ghoom and descending into the charming countryside of Darjeeling. Marvel at the exquisite views of the landscape as the train turns around at Batasia loop and end the tour with a historical walk through the Darjeeling Hill Railway Museum.
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